Known as the festival of colours, Holi announces the arrival of spring (in the Northern hemisphere) and signifies the victory of good over evil. During this period, young and old alike play with coloured powders, paints, or coloured water. Revellers throw pigments at one another in a festive and light-hearted atmosphere. Holi is a Hindu festival, but it is widely celebrated throughout South Asia.
With around 1.5 million South Asians by ancestry in Australia, and many more celebrating around the world, Holi is undeniably an important event on the multicultural calendar.
It is also a great opportunity for brands to align themselves with a positive theme and roll out goodwill brand campaigns – perhaps with a special offer too. This kind of activity is bound to generate tremendous goodwill with an audience that is receptive.
In terms of the industries/ sectors that could potentially benefit the most, Holi is a period when people spring clean their homes from top to bottom often redecorating and throwing out the old. So furniture, decorative items, and more are hot ticket items for South Asians at this time of year as well as all manner of cleaning products – especially stain removers for clothes after a holi colour war! Travel, food and beverage consumption also spikes as friends and family come together to celebrate.
What an opportunity for a marketer to cash in on those additional sales. This is also a period when marketers in India and other subcontinent countries, integrate this phenomenon into their product offers for the enthusiastic people celebrating Holi.
So what are brands around the world doing to jump on the Holi marketing bandwagon and target South Asians?
Here are some of our favourite Holi advertising campaigns rounded up for your viewing pleasure.
Fast food chain Subway created a simple short video/GIF for Instagram highlighting the vibrant colours of the sandwich ingredients, from green capsicum to black olives, orange carrot, red tomato, and purple onion. This was a simple idea and execution with a great impact.
Social media giant Facebook created a short video titled ‘More together’ that featured a man in a foreign country faced with a colourless Holi, spent all alone. After a video chat with his friends back in India, they banded together to give him a true Holi experience and keep in touch with his culture. The emotions associated with this common theme experienced by many South Asians in a foreign country made this video a success.
And lastly, here is a fabulous and emotional ad from detergent brand Surf where a little boy brokers peace between two estranged brothers with his Holi paints. I’m not crying, you are!